Every Room of This Renovated UK Edwardian House Has Been Enviably Restored and Refreshed
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Name: Clare Bolger, Oliver (husband), and three boys, aged 12, 10, and 6
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
Size: 2500 square feet
Type of Home: Edwardian detached house
Years lived in: 6 years, owned
Clare and her husband, Oliver, had passed this Edwardian detached house for sale many times, but it was always out of their price range. “When I was on maternity leave with our third little boy, I was perusing Rightmove and noticed that it had been reduced by quite a lot,” she explains. “Within two days, we’d seen a mortgage advisor and got our previous house on the market. After a nail-biting five months, we finally moved in.”
Although it was built in 1901, Clare says they’re only the fourth owners of this house, and says the previous owner had lived here for 57 years. “She’d brought her children up here and I could tell she really wanted it to go to a family,” Clare explains. “It needed a lot of work (rewiring, re-plastering, new plumbing, and redecorating throughout) but we’d already renovated three houses, and we saw its potential straightaway. We especially loved the individuality of the open front porch, the original windows, and the amount of space there was in the unconverted basement. Some of the original features were in a bad state of repair or had been removed, but we were really keen to restore or reinstate them. Since then, we’ve restored the whole house and converted one of the rooms in the basement into a playroom for the boys (there are still two rooms left to convert).” Since completing this renovation, Clare actually set up her own interior design business: No Space Like Home.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Eclectic, colorful, and relaxed. I like a home that tells a story.
Inspiration: I’m always inspired by the history of a home and the people who live there. The best thing about period homes is the original features and I love restoring them. And I love the simplicity of mid-century design. A lot of the things we’ve collected, from furniture to accessories, are vintage mid-century finds.
Favorite Element: The hallway. It still has the original window, window seat, paneling, spindles, and floorboards. We also sourced a restored cast iron fireplace. I love the fact that the window seat is the spot where the family would’ve sat in the early 1900s to take their shoes off and warm themselves by the fire. I’ve framed the original house deeds and displayed them in a glass case in the hall. We painted this space dark to create a dramatic entrance, and because the woodwork is darker than the walls, the lovely features really stand out.
Biggest Challenge: Budget! Because we fell in love with the house and were desperate to get it, we didn’t really consider how we’d do it up. We thought we’d take our time and wait years but we’re both very impatient! In the end, Oliver learned plumbing, joinery, and basic electrics by watching YouTube videos and reading textbooks while I did an interior design diploma through the National Design Academy. The renovation took over three years in total – three years of spending all our money on the house, of working evenings and weekends alongside our day jobs and bringing up three young children. It was hard work!
Proudest DIY: The utility/boot room. We couldn’t keep the original door in the basement because of fire regulations. Instead of selling it, we made a bench and peg rail out of it. We also used the doors from the old basement cupboards to create new storage cupboards in the utility room.
Biggest Indulgence: We splashed out on restored vintage cast iron radiators throughout the ground floor, on the landing, and in our bedroom — they make such a massive difference to a period home!
Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? Our home is a bit of a quirky shape — full of interesting angles and split levels. When we knocked through between the kitchen and dining room to create an open-plan kitchen diner, the split levels really helped to zone the spaces.
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? My favorite furniture items are the mid-century German cocktail armchairs in the dining room, which were an eBay bargain (£250 for 2)! They’re the comfiest chairs in the house.
I love the little wooden pieces in our dining room (the apples and pears, salt & pepper shakers, and bowl) by @peepandco. Laura finds the vintage wooden pieces on eBay or in charity shops, sands them down, and hand paints them. They’re so unique and look equally good in a living room as they do in a child’s bedroom.
I also love the abstract landscape artwork above the living room radiator — it’s by local artist, Claire Murray, and it was so hard to choose one because all her work is beautiful.
The print above the fireplace in the hall is from a collection called “The Lost Houses” by another local artist, Kate Lycett. It’s of a manor house that used to be in the park near where we live. I love a home to tell a story!
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Always incorporate enough storage in each room — it’s better to have too much than too little. Things accumulate quickly (especially with children around) and without adequate storage, it will all end up on show. Make sure that the things you need most often are within easy reach.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Don’t just stick to one style. In our dining room we have an original Edwardian fireplace next to a contemporary green sofa next to a vintage ercol mid-century coffee table. I love mixing styles to add soul and personality. Also, fill your home with things you love — whether they’re inspired by your hobbies, interests, or travels, they’ll really help to tell your story and make it feel like home.
PAINT & COLORS
- Hallway and landing — Little Greene Paint Company “Juniper Ash” on walls, “Basalt” on woodwork
- Kitchen-diner — Little Greene Paint Company “Scree” on kitchen units, “French Grey Mid” on walls, and “French Grey Pale” on woodwork
- Utility/Boot room — Little Greene Paint Company “Hoho Green” on woodwork, “Tusk” on walls, and “Silt” on floor
- Downstairs toilet — Little Greene Paint Company “Jewel Beetle” on walls and “Pique” on woodwork and ceiling
- Main Bedroom — Farrow and Ball “Blackened” on walls, “All White” on woodwork, and “Strong White” on wardrobes
- Star Wars boy’s room — Farrow and Ball “Skylight” on walls, “Slipper Satin” on woodwork, and “Stiffkey Blue” behind desk
- Mid-century boy’s room — Farrow and Ball “Blackened” on walls and woodwork, “Lulworth Blue,” “Cook’s Blue,” and “Borrowed Light” on floor
- Family bathroom — Farrow and Ball “Stiffkey Blue” on bath, “Strong White” on walls
HALLWAY AND LANDING
- White Marble and Gold Metal Side Table — Maisons du Monde
- Manor Heath Arcade print — Kate Lycett (artist)
- Otto Table Lamp — Pooky
- Truman Pendant Light — Graham and Green
- Butterfly mirror — Graham and Green
- Grace Pendant Lights — Heals
- Wall canvas on landing — Original artwork by Claire Murray (artist)
- Marrakesh Tinmel tiles — Fired Earth
- Grey sofa — GPlan Vintage 66 sofa, no longer on GPlan website but still on this website
- Orange Dylan sofa — Made.com
- Moordale orange cushion — MiniModerns
- Cheetah cushion — John Lewis
- Andy Warhol print — King and McGaw
- Scion Tahimi fabric lampshade
- Sanwi standing star — Nkuku
- Round metal wire basket — H&M
- Chierowsky 366 rocking chair — Rose and Grey
- Curtains — Orla Kiely Scribble fabric
- Original canvas painting (above radiator) — Claire Murray (artist)
- Cast iron radiator — Vintage Cast Iron Radiators
- Teak mid century sideboard and Gplan side tables — eBay
- Rug — Next
- Paul sofa — Perch and Parrow
- Ariella Chevron sideboard — Graham and Green
- Espere pendants — Pooky
- Dahlia pendant — Pooky
- Original mid-century Ercol dining chairs and coffee table — eBay
- Wooden apple and pear pots, bowl and salt & pepper shakers — @peepandco on Instagram
- Lilee orange lamp base — Pooky
- Oversized task floor lamp — Barker and Stonehouse
- Edessa furnishing fabric — John Lewis
- Mid century German cocktail chairs — eBay
- Canvas on fireplace — My mum!
STAR WARS BOY’S ROOM
LADDERAX BOY’S ROOM
- Mid-century ladderax — Left by previous owner
- Throw — GLTC
This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.
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